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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Say What You Feel

“You make my heart melt like a
Popsicle on the Fourth of July”
Darla, Little Rascals ~

Aww, if that isn’t just the cutest thing? Or is it? Who likes a sticky Popsicle melting all over their hand? But she has the sweetest intentions, and for her to say that is the most darling thing a little girl “in love” could say. Why don’t adults ever say adorable little sentiments like that?

We get the “I love you’s,” “You make my life complete,” “I adore you,” “I cherish you,” and blah blah, just fill in the blank between “I” and “you.” It’s like people are preprogrammed just to say something that will be flattering to the other person, and though they are kind and well-prepared statements, and usually meant, they are, when you look at it, mundane and boring. If someone adored me, I’d be thrilled, but if I made someone’s heart melt like a Popsicle on the Fourth of July… Wow. (I need to make better plans for this Fourth of July.)


Of course, on certain occasions, and out of the blue, one will surprise their significant other with words of love that are unexpected, because they are spontaneous and couldn’t hold back. They are sweet and sometimes…bizarre. “I want to just smell your hair all day!” one guy said to my friend once. I’m sure he meant it in a sweet way, as in the scent reminded him of her when he was elsewhere, and he wanted to hang on to that, but when guys blurt things like that out, it can scare a girl. This could be why guys hang on the more traditional words of affection.

But I say, forget traditional. Say what you mean, just don’t scare her away. You can be humorous and crafty with your terms of endearment, and it will definitely get her attention. It will also keep her mind lingering on those words, much longer after you have said them. For example, after she has just had a long day at work, then had to go to a dinner meeting, then run to the store, then her heel broke, and let’s say she fell to make it worse, then it starts raining and she has to limp 4 blocks to her car, then she realizes she’s on the wrong street. Yeah, that’s a bad day. She finally gets home where you are waiting, because you were going to have movie night, but she’s too annoyed to do anything. What she’d probably like to do is grab a bottle of wine, draw a bath, and shut out the world. But you say, after taking the groceries, and shoes, out of her hands, “I like it when you look this helpless, it makes me want to take care of you.” And she smiles as he grabs the wine and leads the way to the bath, even though he really wanted to see that movie.

That’s thoughtful. There could have been an argument there. That was an extreme example. But what if you’re just dating and you want to woo her with your witticisms—make her laugh by charming her. She’ll be struck at first by what you said, then laugh, pause, then probably kiss you, then laugh again. And there is the charm in going outside the boundaries of showing your affection verbally. It’s worked in the movies, it’s gotta work in real life, right?

I mean, look at Adam Sandler singing on the plane to Drew Barrymore in “The Wedding Singer”: “I wanna grow old with you.” Adorable.

“Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?” from “Sixteen Candles” would be an awkward example, but if she’s up for it, it could lead to something fun. Or if you’re trying to be sincere and deep, you could use a line from “The Accidental Tourist”: "I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much you love someone. Maybe what matters is who you are when you're with them."

Those are just some examples to help prepare you, but really, you should say what you’re thinking, no matter how silly you feel, because if you don’t say what mean, then how will she know how you are really feeling? If she has fish and you love watching her tend to them, the way she looks so sweet feeding them and making sure they all got their food, that you just want to blurt out—“I wish you had more fish to feed!” Well, say it, but in a way that gives reason. Tell her how endearing she is with her fish and it shows how much she cares about them, and you wish she had more because you love watching her. With each fish, you love her more. Then you tell her you want to take her out to dinner, and she says where, and you say, “there’s this great seafood place downtown”…just kidding, just kidding…or not.

Watch any romantic comedy, then get to work on practicing your own, but mostly just say what you feel. If she makes you want to run through a field, tell her. Some things may sound ridiculous, but she’ll appreciate your honesty, and that it’s not just the same mundane confessions of your affections that she’s heard over and over again. Be fun and witty, but remember that at the heart of it, is your love (or if you’re not there yet), or appreciation for her. And on this Fourth of July, I hope you all meet, or are with, someone who makes your heart melt like a Popsicle.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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